The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by sobieski  

Joined: 1 Jun 2008 / Male ♂
Last Post: 6 Jan 2016
Threads: Total: 107 / Live: 96 / Archived: 11
Posts: Total: 2,128 / Live: 1,961 / Archived: 167
From: Poland, Warsaw
Speaks Polish?: Good
Interests: Polish culture and history, cooking

Displayed posts: 2057 / page 1 of 69
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1 Jun 2008
Life / Internet without TPSA (The Telecommunication of Poland Corporation) [11]

Although we have Neostrada at home (because no alternative), in my work laptop I have an I-Plus card and that works fine for most Internet activities such as mailing, surfing... Not really suitable for YouTube etc..

But I believe you have them with different speeds.
20 Sep 2008
Travel / Driving to Poland from England - any tips? [264]

I went home from Warsaw to Antwerp this Summer. 12,5 hours with 4 breaks. The A2 reaches now to Stryków and it is in the last non-paying part a first class motorway.

No speed checks and no speed cameras. Very well constructed. Forthe first part Kulczyck (richest guy in Poland) is fleecing you times for toll on a short stretch.

Do drive in the weekends. Only frigo trucks are allowed on the German and Polish roads then.
On working days expect very big travel problems once you have crossed the Polish border. Endless lines of trucks heading for Russia.
21 Oct 2008
Life / Getting ripped off in Poland! Is it normal? or should it be tolerated? [97]

"Being ripped off because I am not Polish" would make sense if you as a foreigner would pay more for let us say a house or a car as a Pole.

Which is not the case, because Poles pay the same.
I remember back in 1989 hotels had 3 rates : one for Poles, one for other Warsaw pact countries, and one for Westerners.
But as far as I know there do not exist separate rates now per category.

Westerners here in Poland on the whole earn a lot more than most Poles and buy houses/flats in the expensive part of the cities, go to expensive supermarkets such as Bomi, Alma and Piotr i Paweł.. so it is normal that on the end we pay a lot more.

If I let's say, buy mussels in Kuchnia Świat in Arkadia for 20 PLN per kg, then this is the same price as in Belgium, but for many Poles to spend 40 PLN on seafood is a luxury.

I see nowhere articles priced in a foreign currency here in Warsaw in the shops.
The only thing which is priced in Swiss francs are mortgages because a lot of people have them in Swiss francs(including we)

Here in Warsaw actually prices of flats are going down, because so many of them stand empty and it is now very difficult to get a normal mortgage.

Every week in the real estate supplements of the papers you see the proof: they offer you free standing place for your car, low downpayments, reduced prices...

Which still makes them expensive, true.
21 Oct 2008
Life / Getting ripped off in Poland! Is it normal? or should it be tolerated? [97]

What does happen frequently in the supermarket, is that your bill does not add up - i.e. that items are wrongly priced, promotions sold at normal price etc.

But I think this is happening everywhere in the world. We all know that retailers basically cannot be trusted :)
I guess they are counting on the fact that when you have waiting 35 minutes before it is your turn to pay, that you do not have the energy anymore to check your bill.
26 Oct 2008
Life / Reasons for moving to Poland [291]

When I met my future (Polish) wife in 2000, she made it clear from the very beginning that she did not want to leave Poland never ever, so I had no choice than to move from Belgium to Poland. (I had a stable job there, working for the same company for 17 years)

We married in May 2003. I moved to Poland in October 2004 (without a job or even an offer for a job opening), found a job here in August 2005 and like to live here.
2 Nov 2008
Travel / Praga, Warsaw - looking for some hippish cafes [15] and
However I am living in Bielany on the normal/safe side of the river.
Hopefully you have a good life insurance going out there :)
6 Nov 2008
News / Poland's fight against paedophilia [277]

I believe burning at the stake is just the kind of ideal punishment for these rats.
Or even better, put them in a normal prison ward. They would not survive there even an a week. Criminals have their own hierarchy and I think they come at the very bottom end. It would save money as well.
21 Nov 2008
Travel / Is it safe to travel to Poland? [194]

The last option would be travel by train.

This is pure ********.
- Intercity trains here are safe
- You cannot buy a ticket for any IC or Express train without compulsory seat reservation. Meaning you always have a seat - if they are not reserved before

- First come, first serve is simply not true
- Travelling by train more dangerous as car or bus? What a joke...
Let us take Warsaw-Kraków as an example. By IC train something as 2,5 hours in comfortable first class. No stops,because the first stop after Warsaw is.... Kraków

By car? 5 hours on the dual-carriageway to Katowice and then the toll road to Kraków, confronting all possible Polish road maniacs + getting lost in looking for the A4 connection.

Do you live in Poland, giving such advice ?
26 Dec 2008
Travel / Getting from Krakow to Warsaw [99]

Do not be mean... just fork out your 130 PLN (yes that is what is costs for a 1st class ticket to Kraków on a fast IC train)

What is the difference for your British.. 50 PLN....
The IC connection between Warsaw and Kraków is smooth, comfortable and (normally) punctual. Just a nice train basically.
27 Dec 2008
Travel / Getting from Krakow to Warsaw [99]

Not speaking Polish should not be a hindrance on the Warsaw-Kraków train.
The conductor maybe will not speak fluent English, but he will understand enough to issue you a ticket.
You can pay cash, direct debit card or credit card.
Jump on the train (Warsaw is the first and last stop before Kraków). Pay to the conductor 7 PLN extra for a non-reserved seat.
Sit down and relax.
2,5 hours later you will be in Kraków.

The IC trains on this route are about the best you get in this country.

Of course you could save let us say 30 PLN or so and spend a day on the train.
I mean,later you would spend without thinking much more on drinking in both cities?
27 Dec 2008
Love / Polish girls vs Ukrainian girls: Who do you think is hotter? [147]

I think Ukrainian girls would go after your passport. The moment they have a EU passport you probably would be lost.
Wherereas Polish girls do not need a EU passport (they already have one), so they would be more honest I think.
10 Jan 2009
Law / How can I get Polish citizenship after been married to a Polish spouse [75]

As far as I know there is no automatic process to get Polish citizenship. Every application has to be reviewed and approved by the president personally. Meaning by L.K. :(

If you are a footballer the national team urgently needs - that might speed up the process :)
24 Jan 2009
Life / How Safe Are the Polish Cities? [179]

I am living 4,5 years in Warsaw now and never have experienced any personal danger.
That said and done I do avoid the rougher places: Praga (despite all the articles proclaiming it fashionable-to-be place) is very rough and best to be avoided, some streets even in daytime. The public parks at night-time(I guess that goes for any big city). The rough 24-hr bars with their peculiar nightlife. The area of some of Warsaw's railway stations is best to be avoided. Though not Warszawa Centralna... as grimy as it looks it is actually quite safe - has to has the highest concentration of cops and security guards pr square metre in the whole of Poland.

The only thing I experienced once was coming out from home in the morning and to find out that some moron made a deep scratch over the whole length of my car. I guess he was not a fan of VW Touran :)

And most of the drunks are more an annoyance than a danger - though boy they can smell as sewer hole.
On the end the biggest danger of all I find the absolute kamikaze behaviour of the average Polish driver.
5 Mar 2009
Travel / Best method of transport to get from Warsaw to Kaunas? [14]

What would you recommend as the best way of travelling from Warsaw to Kaunas...
I know by train it takes ages. What about the bus? How long does that take?
Another option is by car... what are the roads like near the Polish/LT border and what about traffic jams on the way?
How many hours should I count either by bus or by car ?
8 Mar 2009
Life / Good place to live in Poland (if you want to move on)? [66]

You can for example start with applying for Geronimo Martins which is a Portuguese company owning the largest network of supermarkets in Poland (Biedronka)

You mean the bunch of criminals who made their employees wearing pampers such as not to loose 5 minutes going to the loo???
As a matter of principle I never ever enter a Biedronka store.
11 Mar 2009

I have to disagree on the Old Town. We always go to Jazz Bistro on ulica Piwna, which has good food for normal prices and often live jazz music.
22 Mar 2009
Law / PIT 1% - what are you donating it to? [5]

Almost April, so PIT-time here in Poland. Meaning your tax-declaration and connected with that paying your income tax (on top of what you are paying each month).

1% of this goes (if you fill in the paragraph on your tax form) to a charity of your choice.
We are every year giving money to an animal shelter here in Warsaw. For what are you guys donating your 1% ?
17 Apr 2009
Travel / Getting from Krakow to Warsaw [99]

Trains here in Europe in generally go from a train station.
Short manual:
1. Go to the train station in Kraków (you know where trains depart and arrive)
2.Every hour you have an Intercity train to Warsaw
3. Hop on, and buy your ticket from the train guard, and pay with your credit card
4. "This express train" is the regular hourly connection between Kraków and Warsaw
5. You will even arrive in good health and there is a decent restaurant on-board (in theory non-alcoholical)

Varsaw is written as "Warsaw" in English. I even heard people look there as in the US....
22 Apr 2009
Life / Exam for Drivers License in Poland; English? [99]

Whatever, bribes or not.... The average Polish driver is a regular nut case. Drive a bit in Warsaw and I am sure you will agree.

I am driving each month 2.000 km back/from work. Today I saw 4 accidents. Every day I think I saw the worst possible and always there is a kamikaze who surprises me.

It is not the licence which counts here I guess....
25 May 2009
Travel / Live Music / Festival in Warsaw? [26]

I'm american. no eurocrap for me. :)

You mean the home country of Mc Donald's and George Bush has the monopoly on decent music ?
Please explain... ?
14 Jun 2009
Travel / First Impressions About Warsaw & A small guide [7]

Any suggestion for a better supermarket would be helpful.

Upmarket supermarkets in Warsaw are Bomi, Alma, Piotr i Paweł and Mini-Europa.
You pay close to Western European prices, but the quality is imcomparable higher compared to C4.
2 Aug 2009
Travel / Castles and Palaces in Poland (with pictures) [154]

Zamek Kśiąż near Wałbrzych is one of the biggest castles in Central Europe.
OK, Wałbrzych is a city best forgotten. The castle is impressive though.
As a bonus you get the nearby town on Świdnica with its fair share of monuments.
Nice place :)
13 Aug 2009
Life / Gyms in Warsaw [44]

I am going to Gymnasion - - can recommend it. Costs me 179 PLN per month.
17 Nov 2009
Real Estate / Neighbourhoods in Warsaw - how safe? [23]

I am living already for years in Bielany, the not so posh part of Warsaw, never had any problems. My cars is parked on the street, never broken into.

By the way what is the expat fascination with Mokotów? I have never understood this.
24 Nov 2009
Law / Stała Karta Pobytu and how to protect it in Poland [11]

I got a few weeks ago my Stała Karta Pobytu (for EU citizens) and well.... one big disappointment... it is basically a flimsy piece of paper, God knows how that will last the coming years.

I already know you are not allowed to put self-adhesive plastic around it.... but where to buy a decent cover for it? A friend of mine has a passport-sized cover for it (even looks as a passport).

Suggestions, anyone?
25 Nov 2009
Law / Stała Karta Pobytu and how to protect it in Poland [11]

Every time I go to Medicover for example, I need it.

It is not by the way a EU residence card (That is meant for non-EU citizens). It is a permanent residence card. (Actually the front page says this literally) but the card itself is valid for 10 years, automatically renewable.